No one likes a know-it-all. But at one point or another, we’ve all played the role – some more than others. As I’ve continued to further my education, the struggle with this has been real. I don’t know everything, but I know more about a lot of subjects than some people. That’s where pride likes to sneak in, and pride can be condescending and mean.
Yet, in today’s reading, Apostle Paul instructs us that knowledge is only good at breeding pride, while love edifies. According to Ellicott’s Commentary, the idea of edification in this passage “is not so much the improvement of the individual as the building-up of the whole Christian edifice. We have come to speak of an ‘edifying discourse’ if it helps the individual. St. Paul would have spoken of an ‘edifying work’ if it built up the Church.”
Jesus’s teachings about being last and putting others first create the foundation for Paul’s message here. Because it’s not about knowing more than someone or proving yourself right every single time. It’s about remembering that we are part of a united church. If having that “debate” with another believer just to prove you’re smart or spiritually strong may stunt another believer’s growth, then don’t do it. Choose love over constant reprimanding and a know-it-all attitude. Be the one who encourages rather than the one who constantly condemns. Choose humility over pride; love over knowledge; simplicity over complexity.